Saturday, April 19, 2014

Q is for Quotes from Monsieur Degas

M. Degas's thoughts on Art:

"A picture is a thing which requires as much knavery, as much malice, and as much vice as the perpetration of a crime.  Make it untrue and add an accent of truth."

"Work a great deal at evening effects, lamplight, candlelight, etc.   The intriguing thing is not to show the source of light but the effects of the lighting."

"Hitherto the nude has always been represented in poses which presuppose an audience, but these women of mine are honest, simple folk, unconcerned by any other interests than those involved in their physical condition.  Here is another; she is washing her feet.  It's as if you looked through a key-hole."

Thoughts on the Impressionists: 

 Degas never considered himself an Impressionist. He thought of himself as a realist. And he worked indoors, not outdoors like the impressionists.

This is what he thought of Monet's work:  "Why I met Monet himself there, (At an exhibition) and I said to him, 'Let me get out of here.  Those reflections in the water hurt my eyes! His pictures were always too draughty for me.  If it had been any worse I should have had to turn up my coat collar."

"If I were the government, I would have a special brigade of gendarmes to keep an eye on artists who paint landscapes from nature.  Oh, I don't mean to kill anyone, just a little dose of bird-shot now and then as a warning."

And a glimpse of his personal life:  "I marry? Oh, I could never bring myself to do it.  I would be in mortal misery all my life for fear my wife might say, 'That's a pretty little thing,' after I had finished a picture.'

Degas believed that an artist could not have a personal life.

Self Portrait: Degas Lifting His Hat , c1863. (age 29).  

*All these quotes are  Thank you wikipedia!

Friday, April 18, 2014

P is for Pedicure by Edgar Degas, 1873.

The Pedicure painting, Oil on canvas, 24 by 18 inches, painted in 1873 by Edgar Degas.  And that, bloggers, is all I have been able to find out.  So, we study the painting.  It seems to be that of a young girl who is having her toenails cut, by a gentleman.  Is he a doctor? or?  She is wrapped modestly in a sheet and though she is sitting on a couch, because of the bureau behind her, this might be her bedroom. 

The Pedicure. Oil on Canvas. 1873.  Edgar Degas.  Dover Publications. Inc. Mineola, N.Y.

This is one of those "key hole" pictures.  We are looking at this scene as through a key hole. She might be ill or?  A rather odd subject for a painting, but if Degas himself said that he liked to paint subjects especially women, in familiar and typical attitudes, this would fit. The light shining through the sheet is what makes this painting so serene.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

O is for Woman/ Girl with Opera Glasses by Edgar Degas. c.1866-68.

Woman with Opera Glasses was painted by Edgar Degas c. 1866-68.  Since this almost fit the "O" catagory, I decided to use it from my DVD collection from Dover Press.  In trying to find out something about the painting I stumbled upon this artist's blog, which at first glance was about copying this painting.  As I scrolled down I saw the photo of the work and then her beginning sketches, and then. . .the sad words, her little boy who had Cockayne Syndrome, died during the time she worked on "Girl with Opera Glasses."

There is a sweet photo of Knox in the background, watching his mother as she works.

One of the surprises of this challenge, is what you may uncover, through others or just your own research.  And I noticed that two of our famous bloggers, discovered her many weeks ago.

I am adding her blog address.  I would not presume to paraphrase what she wrote about Knox.

Woman with Opera Glasses, Edgar Degas, 1866-68.  Oil on cardboard.  Dover Publications, Inc. Mineola, New York